ENTRIES TAGGED "future of book publishing"

Publisher: a new role in data herding

To weather industry disruption, publishers essentially need to become leaders of big data and data intelligence companies.

In a recent interview at PBS’ Media Shift, Jason Ashlock, founder and president of Movable Type Management, addressed the changing roles of publishers and argued that they’re not innovating fast enough. Ashlock argues that we’re in the age of the author and direct audience engagement and that publishers need to become conduits for this engagement and curators of communities in addition to curators of quality books.

In a similar vein, Forbes writer Suw Charman-Anderson recently argued that publishers need to become retailers. As retailers, publishers put themselves in a position to collect customer data, which in turn puts them in a better position to offer customers unique additional value and experiences. O’Reilly’s Joe Wikert is a big proponent of the direct sales channel.

To weather the disruption in the industry, publishers do need to become strong multi-media companies as Ashlock suggests and retailers as Charman-Anderson suggests, but more than that — more to the root of that — publishers essentially need to become leaders of big data and data intelligence companies in order to capitalize on the benefits of these business models. They need to learn how to sift through and analyze data to extract meaning, quite a different business than traditional publishers are used to and not an easy task. As Adam Frank argues at NPR, making use of big data and data intelligence requires specialists who understand the intricacies and nuances of data, who know how to “separate the chaff from the real, useful insights.”

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Acknowledge and Move On: A Useful Debate Format

Mindy McAdams outlines 10 facts that need to be left behind in "future of journalism" discussions. The same debate format would benefit book publishing as well.